daughter, now an addlebrained wreck,nused to fly to “people’s demonstrations”nin Washington in her corporatenCessna) makes them into doleful caricatures,ntheir money problems and currentnaspirations sound both trivial andnabominable. What’s worse, their I.Q.s,nas cast against dilemmas that plaguenthem at stage time, seem not to havenrisen much since the time of their supposedlynglamorous follies — the greatntimes of their lives, as they still claimnin their nostalgic confessions to onenanother.nMr. Wilson, a co-founder and residentnplaywright at Circle RepertorynCompany, has obvious mentors innChekhov and Tennessee Williams:nfrom them he has learned the staccatonof erupting insights, changing moods,nabruptly expressed feelings. He knowsnhow to create a background density ofninterrelations between persons, events,nthe past and the present. Whatever hisninitial idea, he came up with a validncondemnation. On occasion, his textnsounds like a hippie version of YounCan’t Take It With You, deprived ofnthe latter’s zany vivacity, but endowednwith a dimension which would be hardnto call serious though it is incontestablynpoignant.nSt. Nicholas Theater Company producednThe Fifth of July in cooperationnwith the Steppenwolf Theatre. Bothnare avant-garde, off-Loop, and off-off-nMichigan Avenue outfits. Chicagonneeds this kind of thespian activity asnmuch as any other city in America,nwhich happens not to be New York.nThe theater calls itself in promotionalncopy “a center of performing arts, withna commitment to the development ofnnew plays and playwrights.” Its artisticndirector, Mr. Steven Schachter, vowsnto keep “St. Nicholas in the mainstreamnof contemporary theater,”nwhich is an alluring promise. Over ancouple of decades, the contemporaryntheater has come to mean a sort of lethargic,nideologically standardized progressivismnof both form and substance,nwhich since Roi-Ubu and thendadaists — that is, for almost threequartersnof a century — still passes fornyouth, imaginativeness and novelty.nOn and off, it is challenged in itsn”progressiveness” by socialist realistnplaywrights — and so it goes. Whethernthe American theater will make a differencenin this state of affairs remainsnto be seen. The New York theater culturenhas failed in this respect. Chicagonthus has a chance to become somethingnmore than a theatrical asylum for rou­nScreennHollywood’s Degradation and FallnEyes of Laura Mars; Directed by IrvinnKershner; Written by John Carpenternand David Goodman; ColumbianPictures.nNational Lampoon’s Animal House;nDirected by John Landis; Written bynHarold Ramis, Douglas Kenney andnChris Miller; Universal Pictures.nWho’ll Stop the Rain; Directed bynKarel Reisz; Written by Herb Jaffenand Gabriel Katzka; United Artists.nThe Buddy Holly Story; Directed bynSteve Rash; Written by Alan Swyer;nColumbia Pictures.nby Eric ShapearonAccording to financial reports, Hollywoodnhas never been better. The accountsnin which movies are budgetednand, consequently, announce their revenues,nare routinely astronomical. Thentechnology of filmmaking has reachednunsurpassed levels; directing, acting,ncamera work of even the most standardizednproduct show smooth technicalnprofessionalism once considered thenmark of the best. Yet, all those splendorsnare of no avail. Hollywood hasnhit bottom. It has lost its sway overnsouls. The average moviegoer, whononce lived for years with the imagesnnntine sympathies and postures, to enlargenconceptually its commitment tonreal art stages, to display an honestnshowdown of Weltanschauungs.nWhether the little house on North Halsted,nconverted from a printing plantninto a chamber theater and suffusednwith a serious warmth of dedication,nwill make good on its promise shouldnbe quite interesting. We believe that itncan, and we will be watching it withngoodwill and expectation. (ES) Qnstored under his eyelids in his intercoursenwith a motion picture in thendarkness of a movie house, now remembersnnothing the next morning ofnwhat he saw the night before. Hollywoodnsteps up the onslaught of thenextraordinary: gore, lewdness and extraterrestrialnbeings are massively sentninto the battle. Cynical critics, most ofnthem simple-minded reporters who callnthemselves reviewers, have nothingnin their brains but second-hand pseudo-intellectualnposes, and want nothingnbut the attractive freebies that gonwith the assignment, are doing everythingnthey can to prod the public’s interestnin films. Such interest, surenenough, is an American tradition, butnthe reverence and admiration in whichnit was wrapped for six-odd decades ofnAmerican culture is irrevocably gone.nTo point out why it is so would requirena treatise. To encapsulate ancausal factor or two, I would offernthis: As with every popular art, Hollywood,nits capitalistic mechanism andnrationale notwithstanding, has alwaysnhad to project a propoor and antirichnbias; the poor have always had to benthe moral heroes and the rich objectsnof either distrust or derision. The conflictnbetween love and greed, or betweennlust-for-life ethics and blue-nosenethics, was usually presented with thensame social overtone; however, theniS3nChronicles of Culturen